Song Premiere: Natalie Prass – “Bird of Prey”
Spacebomb is proud to introduce our newest artist, Natalie Prass, that specialist in all styles direct from Nashville, Tennessee, with a pure, radiant voice and those sly, romantic songs. Old friends from the Virginia coast, Prass sat down with Matthew E. White to choose nine tracks for Spacebomb’s sleek and lively creative machine. With intuition, hard work and the alchemy of time and place, they crafted an unassuming masterpiece–a real stunner that sounds both thoroughly out-of-time and impossibly fresh. Prass is a powerful, beguiling performer and cunning pop composer–we’re trying to play it cool, but this record and singer have gotten us good. It’s the kind of project that fulfills the unique collaborative vision of Spacebomb: a genuine moment where an artist discovers her voice together with this special community. Regional music, soul music, pop music becoming much more than the sum of its parts. Natalie Prass is that rare thing–a songwriter’s songwriter and a performer’s performer–blessed with universal appeal and endless charm. She can sing in your home tonight.
Bird of Prey b/w Any Time, Any Place (SB005)
Pop is not a thing to be feared. The first Spacebomb single from Natalie Prass, “Bird of Prey” – which premiered today on the A.V. Club – hits fierce and fast, moving with a silky, yet propulsive beat. Our calm narrator, resigned to the dark fate of love, moves along with a confident lyrical pace, as flutes dive and weave through stabs of muted horn and an underpinning of easy rolling tack piano. It’s difficult to pinpoint any specific time or place; the music simply exists in a protean mist of swirling strings. Prass wraps her glowing voice around the hook and delivers a knock-out jewel of a song, addictive, deep-cut and flat-out timeless. This track and the forthcoming full-length record represent a high point of Spacebomb’s collaborative vision: the give-and-take of passionate musical conversation, seamless connection between artist, arrangers and players, honoring the history and putting time into the process to reach a classic new sound.
On the B side, available on iTunes, Natalie pays respect to Janet (and Kendrick) with a pitch-perfect take on Any Time, Any Place, the get-it-on-now-immediately-and-in-public modern R&B classic. An assured, joyful, undeniably sexy cover, this Trey Pollard production is a little more wow and flutter than the shimmer and click of Jam & Lewis, but Spacebomb’s house band keeps the smooth energy of the original, cutting it with the casual pleasure of a late night session. Miss Prass gives Miss Jackson’s canonical vocals her own sweet agenda–nuanced tension and detailed urgency–all elements vibrating together at the sultry speed of Spacebomb.*
*Please note: When in the company of a significant other or beautiful stranger, Spacebomb respectfully suggests listening to this track inside a bedroom or hotel room.
Natalie Prass – Bird of Prey (Single)
Download on iTunes
Watch: Grandma Sparrow – “The Pigsmilk Candycane”
It’s the pigsmilk candycane, the hurdy gurdy understain, the marmaladed pony’s mane, dilapidated monkey brain, possums full of puzzle tears, and crows that grow dakota beards. It’s time to eat your food!
Grandma Sparrow‘s new video for “The Pigsmilk Candycane” premiered today on Tiny Mix Tapes. The stop-motion video was created by Carson Efird and Joe Westerlund and helps the listener learn the recipe for the titular treat. Watch the video below:
Grandma Sparrow featured in Indy Week
Grandma Sparrow is featured in the latest issue of Indy Week. Surrounding his shows at the Pinhook in Durham, NC, Joe Westerlund tells all about the inspiration for his Grandma Sparrow character and his lifelong development of the record’s story. The feature interview talks about the magic that happens when Westerlund dons his costume and takes his place at the front of the stage, the impeccable backing band Canine Heart Sounds behind him.
“Grandma Sparrow is an attempt to rediscover childlike wonder by going somewhere you’ve never been, somewhere that doesn’t even exist.”
Read the article on Indy Week and watch a video of “Existential Mothersnakes” performed live below.
Watch: Howard Ivans – “Pillows”
In November, Ivan Howard—of indie pop darlings the Rosebuds and R&B super-group GAYNGS—transformed into Howard Ivans for two top-shelf cuts with Spacebomb, “Red Face Boy” & “Pillows” (SB003), pressed to vinyl as a limited edition 7″. Today, the video for the B-side, R&B bedroom slow jam “Pillows,” marries Ivans’ wistful lyrics and the “sexy, string-laden soul” (Brooklyn Vegan) with footage from his Spacebomb Revue tour in December with Matthew E. White. As Wondering Sound says, “Keys twinkle, guitars sigh, and Ivans lets loose with the kind of blue-eyed croon that would impress Hall & Oates.” Watch the video for “Pillows” below.
Director: Tony Forgey
Director of Photography: Michael Taliaferro
Edited by Tony Forgey
Additional Photography: Joey Tran
Grandma Sparrow & his Piddletractor Orchestra Released Today
Oh great goosh, my grown-up children!!! Grrrandma is now ready to take his full epicentral flight to bring you the happy nothing messages of Piddletractor!!! Today is the day of existential mothersnakes and pigsmilk candycanes!!! Enjoy these magic words from your stereo turds! Eeee hee hee!
Today marks the release of the very special, truly one-of-a-kind Grandma Sparrow & his Piddletractor Orchestra (SB004), the new album from Grandma Sparrow (Joe Westerlund of Megafaun, GAYNGS). This record is Spacebomb’s second full-length release since Matthew E. White‘s Big Inner and Westerlund’s first as Grandma, and it’s already being received with critical acclaim. The two sides of Piddletractor flow seamlessly with elements of audio collage, absurdist humor, and orchestrated grooves, the product of Westerlund’s mind and the large cast of Spacebomb musicians all from Richmond, Virginia. It couldn’t have come from another man, or another label. Take a trip with us.
“Mind-blowing” (9 out of 10) — SPIN
“Album of the month times ten!” — Bizarre Magazine
“Beautiful, delirious… It’s got the strange, multi-layered harmonies of the Beatles circa Magical Mystery Tour, the symphonic sweep of Van Dyke Parks, the oddball instrumentation of Brian Wilson at his most wigged-out.” — Wondering Sound
“Gloriously freaky…super-fun…This playdate is some trippy, deep shit.” — Village Voice
“Brilliantly realized…a surreal, train-wreck masterpiece” — Style Weekly
“A sonic playground” — Indy Week
“Wonderfully brilliant” — All Around Sound
“A fun, original and marvelous record” — The Daily Tarheel
“Pop weirdness” — Minneapolis Star Tribune